Winter Holiday? Surely You Don’t Have to Declare Broken Bones, Or Do You?

Brits across the UK will be starting to count down the days to their winter sporting holidays, but what they might not have realised, is that if they have suffered a broken bone in the last two years which resulted in hospital treatment, they may not be covered by their medical travel insurance. Here are some useful insights and advice for anyone travelling abroad this winter, especially if you’re going snowboarding, ski-ing or doing adventure sports in general.

When do travellers need to declare broken bones:

•    If you have been prescribed medication, received treatment or attended a medical practitioner’s surgery

•      If you have attended a hospital or clinic as an outpatient or in-patient

•   If there were any complications (infections, nerve or blood vessel damage due to surgery, or DVT (deep vein thrombosis) and the above was applicable to you, then the condition should also be declared. DVT would be classed as a circulatory condition, which should always be declared.

A recent report by ABTA, revealed that more than 3.5 million Brits never take out travel insurance when going on a winter sports holiday. In the 25-34-year-olds category, one in eight said they have travelled with someone who was hospitalised and a further 6% had a major injury themselves which needed hospital treatment.

Travel insurance comparison site Medical Travel Compared are urging holidaymakers to ensure they are correctly covered should anything happen when they’re abroad. With a specialist panel of over 40 insurance providers, Medical Travel Compared ask customers a series of questions relating to their health to determine whether they need to disclose any pre-existing medical conditions as part of a quote application. These medical history questions are representative of those asked by the wider travel insurance market.

Whilst most conditions will only need to be declared if you’ve been diagnosed with, or received treatment (including repeat prescriptions) for the condition within a certain time period (usually 2 years), some conditions providers will usually need to know if you have ever suffered from them. These include any diagnosed heart, respiratory, circulatory, psychiatric or psychological and cancerous conditions.

Bones can break from any number of reasons including trauma where there was a large force or injury, for example by a car, motorcycle, sporting accidents and falls from heights. Injury can also cause bones to break if they have been weakened by disease such as cancer, tumours, bone cysts or osteoporosis. Sometimes, repetitive overuse of the leg such as movements in distance running can result in a stress fracture. It’s important to know what to declare when purchasing.

If you suffer from bones which have been weakened by disease, the main condition must be declared where any of the warranty questions are answered yes and the broken bone will then have to be declared separately. Occasionally providers will fail to quote. This can happen if a broken leg has occurred within the last three weeks and further hospital or clinic appointments are needed. However, cover will be provided if a broken bone is three weeks to four months old and a hospital or clinic visit is still needed, however if a claim is made, travellers will need to confirm their doctor or consultant was happy for them to participate in winter sports and were not travelling against medical advice. If a broken bone is caused by osteoporosis, providers will decline cover of winter sports.

Travellers with broken bones should consider if their cast is approved by their airline and if the mobility aids are protected under the baggage cover.

Medical Travel Compared works with over 40 specialist providers to help travelers compare the best deals from providers offering comprehensive cover for those with pre-existing medical conditions. www.medicaltravelcompared.co.uk

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